STATEMENT by Geoconda Argüello-Kline regarding workers having the Right to Return to their jobs (SB386):



Wednesday, April 7, 2021


Bethany Khan: ▪ (702) 387-7088 

STATEMENT by Geoconda Argüello-Kline regarding workers having the Right to Return to their jobs (SB386):

Senate Bill 386 would give tens of thousands of hospitality workers, many of who have been unemployed for over a year, the Right to Return to their jobs (if the employee had been laid off or furloughed due to COVID-19) when the business reopens or resumes operations.  

Right to Return ordinances and similar measures have been passed in other cities across the country, including Baltimore, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and San Diego. These ordinances have given workers the peace of mind that they will get their jobs back when the unprecedented public health and economic crisis this country is experiencing finally subsides. 

Tens of thousands of Nevada’s workers have lost their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic due to no fault of their own. Workers should get their jobs back when businesses reopen.  

In addition, a Right to Return law would prevent employers from using a global pandemic to get rid of older workers in shameful attempt to force them into early retirement. It would be an injustice to kick long-term frontline hospitality employees, who have contributed to Nevada’s success for decades, to the curb once the pandemic is over. 

Already, tens of thousands of Nevada’s workers risk dire economic uncertainty. They have already been unemployed for over a year dealing with an overrun unemployment system, food insecurity, housing issues, and a range of other issues due the public health and economic crisis.  

Knowing they will get their job back would at least give workers a hope they will not become homeless or struggle to feed their families, which are fears too many Nevadans and their families are dealing with every day. 

Here is one story of a working father, Jorge Padilla, a laid off banquet food server that was featured in TIME Magazine’s “Workers who were laid off say they’re being passed over – for their own jobs”: 

Like millions of Americans who lost their jobs during the pandemic, Jorge Padilla had hoped to work for many more years before the economic meltdown interrupted his plans. But in March, Padilla was laid off from his job as a banquet server in the Las Vegas area when tourism all but disappeared, and even though his old company has ramped up hiring again, it hasn’t contacted him. 

Padilla says that’s because Station Casinos, which owns the Green Valley Ranch Resort Spa and Casino where he worked for nine years, is making anyone who wants a job reapply and is hiring mostly lower-paid workers rather than longtime employees like him. “We worked hard for this company, and we were loyal for many years,” says Padilla, 57, who used to pull in about $13.40 an hour plus tips, which amounted to up to $40 an hour in the busy season. “Now it’s time for them to give us a chance to come back.”  

The Culinary Workers Union Local 226, which represents some Station Casinos employees, says that 58% of Station Casinos workers in its bargaining unit have lost their jobs and that those who want to return to work are being asked to reapply as new employees… 

Being asked to start over at a lower wage, without the benefits of vacation days or health insurance or other things they’d taken years to earn, is exactly what workers like Jorge Padilla are afraid of. He and his wife both worked for Station Casinos, and they’re now living off savings and unemployment. His health insurance, a benefit from his former job, expired in September, and he says he’ll run out of money in a few months. 

– TIME Magazine, October 15, 2020

A Right to Return legislation is a common-sense measure that is urgently needed to create stability in Nevada’s workforce and to speed the State’s recovery as business returns. Nevada has invested heavily in developing its workforce: Hospitality, convention and trade shows, airport, and entertainment have stepped up to be ambassadors for our state and are responsible for the success of our economy. Now, is the time to stand with them. 

The Culinary Union urges the Nevada Legislature to stand with working families and pass Senate Bill 386. 

WATCH the Right to Return (SB386) hearing, including a presentation from UNITE HERE President D. Taylor: 



Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE, represent 60,000 workers in Las Vegas and Reno, including at most of the casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas. UNITE HERE represents 300,000 workers in gaming, hotel, and food service industries in North America.  

The Culinary Union, through the Culinary Health Fund, is one of the largest healthcare consumers in the state. The Culinary Health Fund is sponsored by the Culinary Union and Las Vegas-area employers. It provides health insurance coverage for over 145,000 Nevadans, the Culinary Union’s members and their dependents.   

The Culinary Union is Nevada’s largest Black/AAPI/immigrant organization with members who come from 178 countries and speak over 40 different languages. We are proud to have helped over 18,000 immigrants become American citizens and new voters since 2001 through our affiliate, The Citizenship Project.  

The Culinary Union has a diverse membership which is 55% women and 45% immigrants. The demographics of Culinary Union members are approximately: 54% Latinx, 18% white, 15% Asian, 12% Black, and less than 1% Indigenous Peoples. 

Culinary Union members work as: Guest room attendants, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, bartenders, laundry and kitchen workers. The Culinary Union has been fighting for working families in Nevada for 86 years. / @Culinary226 


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